Your current web browser is outdated. For best viewing experience, please consider upgrading to the latest version.

Contact

Send a question or comment using the form below. This message may be routed through support staff.

Email Article

ERROR
Main Error Mesage Here
More detailed message would go here to provide context for the user and how to proceed
ERROR
Main Error Mesage Here
More detailed message would go here to provide context for the user and how to proceed

Manhattan Institute

search
Close Nav
Share this commentary on Close

Here’s How the LIRR Union Contracts Send Overtime Soaring

commentary

Here’s How the LIRR Union Contracts Send Overtime Soaring

New York Post May 6, 2019
Urban PolicyNYCInfrastructure & Transportation
Public SectorThe Role of Unions

Last week, after The Post exposed the Long Island Rail Road’s overtime scandal, Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief Pat Foye announced a crackdown: The LIRR and the MTA’s other agencies must investigate whether a track worker really worked 16 hours a day for an entire year straight, for example.

A crackdown is laudable, but it’s not enough: The bigger problem is the union contracts that workers expertly exploit.

The LIRR racked up $225 million in OT last year, according to the Empire Center — consuming nearly a third of the $740 million in fares Long Island commuters pay. Put another way, without this burden, the average commuter riding from Huntington to Penn Station every day could pay $253, not $363.

Insane overtime rules are effectively taking a restaurant meal each month away from harried — and lower-paid — private-sector workers. Fraud needs policing and punishment, but the rules encourage fraud.

What are the rules that drive up overtime? To start, LIRR managers are hamstrung by nearly a dozen separate union contracts, the longest of which is 128 pages.

Let’s look at the rulebook for “maintenance of way” workers, including track workers.

Continue reading the entire piece here at the New York Post

______________________

Nicole Gelinas is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor at City Journal. Follow her on Twitter here.

Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Saved!
Close